Doctoral project: Narrative, sin and forgiveness: an assessment of N. T. Wright's narrative criticism through the hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur
Keywords: N.T. Wright, 'Christian Origins', Paul Ricoeur, gospels
Research details: Though some aspects of N.T. Wright's 'Christian Origins' series have attracted considerable critique, the structuralist narratology that under-pins his project and the consequences that its assumptions have had for his proposals have received little critical attention. This form of structuralism had been thoroughly criticised and largely rejected by theorists such as Paul Ricoeur by the time that Wright appropriated it, and yet his published works contain little acknowledgment of such critiques. My study seeks to challenge Wright's account of Jesus' teaching on sin and forgiveness through Ricoeur's narrative hermeneutics, and illustrate that Ricoeur's theory of narrative allows for a more nuanced and multivalent account of sin and forgiveness in the Gospels?
Supervisor(s): Dr W John Lyons
Doctoral project: 'Unity with Christ' in the thought of Bernard of Clairvaux and Martin Luther
Keywords: Bernard of Clairvaux, Martin Luther, Medieval, Reformation, Unity, Justification
Research details: My research is a theological comparison between the thought of Bernard of Clairvaux and Martin Luther. More particularly, I am looking at their theologies of unity with Christ and justification.
Supervisor(s): Dr Carolyn Muessig and Dr Jon Balserak
Doctoral project: Catholicism and modern European democracy: natural allies or uneasy bedfellows?
Keywords: Europe, liberal democracy, Catholicism, Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI, Jürgen Habermas
Research details: What is the place of religion in modern European democracy? I approach this subject through the thought of two very different thinkers: Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and the German philosopher Jürgen Habermas. In relation to the European Union, I address the following questions: Is there an European public sphere? What form does it take? Does it resemble that of nation-states? What is the place of religion therein? Are there deficits and pathologies in the public sphere to which religion offers remedies? Specifically, are orthodox Catholic beliefs compatible with (or even prerequisites of) the healthy functioning of European liberal democracy?
Supervisor(s): Professor Gavin D’Costa
Doctoral project: Veneration of the saints in the modern era: a case study of Saint Therese of Lisieux
Keywords: Saints, veneration, twentieth-century sainthood
Research details: My thesis explores the implications of venerating a modern saint as exemplified by the cult of Therese of Lisieux, and in turn examines her veneration of the saints.
Doctoral project: Comparative studies in the Buddhist and Roman Catholic traditions
Keywords: Pilgrimage, Buddhism
Research details: I am exploring the practice of pilgrimage within the Buddhist traditions to determine its contribution to the missionary success of the religion. My contention is that pilgrimage has often been ignored or undervalued as Buddhologists describe Buddhist praxis.
Supervisor(s): Professor Paul Williams
Doctoral project: Matthew’s presentation of Jesus as a Greek philosophical instructor
Keywords: New testament, ancient philosophy, gospels, Greek, education
Research details: Beginning from a perspective that first century Judaism(s) existed within a greater Hellenistic cultural, political and philosophical framework, my project attempts to find in Matthew—particularly within the Sermon on the Mount—the Greek philosophical influences behind and blended into this “most Jewish gospel.”
Supervisor(s): Dr W. John Lyons
Doctoral project: Venerator and venerated: Catherine of Siena and the cult of saints
Keywords: Catherine of Siena, cult of saints, medieval Italian spirituality
Research details: My thesis uses the life of St Catherine of Siena to create a case study of the medieval practice of the cult of saints. The research will trace Catherine's journey from a venerator of saints into a venerated saint in her own right.
Supervisor(s): Dr Carolyn Muessig
Doctoral project: Italian saints and Tibetan siddhas: a comparative approach to the study of gTsang smyon Heruka's hagiographical works
Keywords: Hagiography, Tibetan Buddhism, medieval Christianity
Research details: Working on the Legenda Maior by Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (1221-1274) and the Mi la'i rnam thar and Mar pa'i rnam thar by gTsang smyon Heruka (1452-1507), I explore the possibility of applying methods of analysis typical of the study of Medieval Christian hagiographies to the study of the Tibetan rnam thar genre.
Supervisor(s): Professor Paul Williams
Doctoral project: In Catholic Ecclesiology, do the Jews need to convert to be saved?
Keywords: Catholic Ecclesiology, Nostra Aetate, Jewish people
Research details: What is the position of the Jewish people in the orbit of salvation in Catholic theology.
Doctoral project: The Christian God of Love: the nature of divine love and its place in God's moral psychology
Keywords: Analytic theology, divine love
Research details: My dissertation is a piece of analytic theology that attempts to get clear on the nature and function of divine love.
Supervisor(s): Dr Oliver D. Crisp
Doctoral project: Chinese Buddhist meditation: religious practice and identity in the People's Republic of China
Keywords: Buddhism, meditation, modernity, identity
Research details: My project looks at the changing role of meditation in Chinese Buddhist identity from the early twentieth century up to the contemporary period, focusing in particular on the relationship between religious experience and textual production.
Supervisor(s): Dr John Kieschnick